Following a presentation at Nottingham University, the Association for Industrial Archaeology made a visit to Bennerley Viaduct as part of their National Conference. A coachload of delegates enjoyed a ploughmans lunch in the Bridge Inn followed by a tour around, under and on the viaduct. The association played a key role in saving the viaduct back in the 1980s when British Rail wanted to demolish the structure. The members were really appreciative of all the work which has been done by the Friends and Volunteers to bring the structure back into use.
In addition, a heritage holiday company also visited the viaduct on the same day. They were given a guided tour of the viaduct. It is satisfying to see the viaduct becoming a destination for those interested in our industrial heritage.
Railway Paths Ltd, the sister charity to Sustrans are the owners of the viaduct. In July 2018, the board of RPL have agreed to fund the cost of critical repairs to the structure and create access on to the deck of the viaduct. RPL are in the process of raising the necessary funds to enable the repairs to take place and for a deck to be installed. Access to the deck will be via a ramp on the Erewash Canal end and via steps at the Awsworth end. The work should be put out to contract in Spring 2019. The work will cost somewhere in the region of £0.5m. The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct welcome this development. The image above shows repairs being made to pier base three using traditional lime mortar.
Today, 20th May 2018, saw the viaduct welcome 17 members of the Kimberley Women’s Institute, they were met by Ian Potter and Tina Corden. Continue reading “The Viaduct Welcomes Kimberley WI.”
The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct, Railway Paths Limited and Sustrans have recently held a productive meeting to start the process of identifying possible options for a project, or projects, to achieve the aim of opening up the viaduct for public access and creating a link across it between the Erewash and Nottingham canals. All three organisations remain committed to seeing the viaduct brought back into use as a walking and cycling route, but recognise that this may take a number of years and that it will need to be achieved in an incremental way depending on the availability of suitable funding. Over the next few months the partners will explore the options that were tabled at the workshop, and assess their feasibility. These options include critical repairs to the structure, the creation of a path and the enhancement of the area underneath the viaduct, the construction of a ramp at the western end, steps at the eastern and the installation of decking.
The results of this work will then be submitted to the Railway Paths Limited Board and Sustrans Executive to seek approval for the implementation of a project.
Ongoing support from the community for the viaduct is integral to its future and all three organisations would like to acknowledge the value of the time and efforts that local people have invested, and hope that this partnership can continue.
THE FRIENDS OF BENNERLEY VIADUCT
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2017-2018
If the period covered by this report had ended with the calendar year on 31 December it would make for very different reading. It would show twelve months of effort, growth and partnership culminating in the achievement of very significant progress towards our ultimate aim – restoring the Bennerley Viaduct and bringing it back into use as a walking and cycling route. As it is, the final quarter of the year 2017-2018 has been marked by disappointment and some anger. The reasons for this are well known to members and to the general public, and I will return to the topic at the end of this report.
Let me focus first of all on the multitude of activities and considerable achievements of our group since April 2017. Continue reading “Chairman’s Report 2017-2018”